Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Walking in the Spirit

Walking in the Spirit

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

Here’s the scenario: your sitting in your office, praying hard and pleading with God to lead you in the right direction. “O Lord, don’t let me crack the disgusting joke! Lord just lead guide me, teach me to walk after Your Spirit!” And what happens. The unregenerate co-worker comes around the corner with something juicy to talk about and you give in. Why couldn’t you take the stand for Christ? Why couldn’t you walk in the Spirit, and not fulfill your flesh’s lust? I have wished this a 1000 times, “Lord Jesus, just let me walk in Your Spirit for 24hrs a day! It makes my life so easier” Never has happened. But how can we as Christians walk in the Spirit of Christ consistently? By the Scriptures, we will explore how we can effectively follow after our Lord Jesus Christ. First we must get a clear understanding of what walking in the Spirit is. Then, we shall search the scriptures to see how to make application of God’s Word in our lives.

What is walking in the Spirit?

Looking in Galatians 5:16 shows us what walking in the Spirit is. This verse defines for us if we live in the Spirit of God, we will not fulfill the lust of our fleshly desires. The word walk in the Greek transliteration is peripateō. In its biblical usage, it is used to mean: to walk, in the Hebrew to live by regulating one’s life, conducting one’s life or passing one’s life. According to exert taken from Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, figuratively to walk can be used to signify the whole rounds of activities in one’s life. Plainly put, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we walk by how we live. To walk is to live. Romans 6:4 tells us to live in the newness of life:

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

While Romans 8:4 says to walk after the Spirit, and not to live after our flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)

Here are well some other scriptures using the word walk as the way a Christian should live:

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (Romans 13:13) – Honest living

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) (2 Corinthians 5:7) – Living by faith

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10) - By good works

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. (Colossians 4:5) – In wisdom

So walking in the Spirit is living in the Spirit of God. We must live a godly life. The tense of the verb in this verse is present and the voice is active. Meaning we the Christians are the doers of this action. So what is the best example for those who want to live in the Spirit? THE LORD JESUS CHRIST is the best example.

And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they against him. (Luke 22:63-65)

Now here in Luke 22 was a good time for Jesus Christ to take action. These men smacked our Savior in the face and He did not respond back. Hmmmmm? His living was not to react back to the smack (Isaiah 53:7, Luke 6:29). Is that living in the Spirit? Yes, this is why Jesus Christ is our best example in who we should pattern our lives after. The way we should conduct our walking (living) should produce the fruit that Christ produced. See walking in the Spirit of God produces the things of our Lord. If we live in our flesh we produce the things of this world (Galatians 6:7-8). Look later down in the scripture of Galatians 5 to see the sharp contrast of what’s produce by living in your flesh versus living in the Spirit. Let’s see:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:19-25)

So back to our original scenario, you crack the joke following after the flesh. What will that produce? Uh huh, exactly, it will produce things of the flesh. But what if you don’t answer with a joke but instead in the wisdom of God (which may be no answer at all), what will that produce? So do you see that walking in the Spirit is how we live and conduct our lives? We should pattern them after the Lord Jesus Christ to produce the fruit of Spirit and God Almighty will be pleased with our faith (Hebrews 11:1-6).

How can do we apply walking in the Spirit to our lives in Jesus?

Now that we understand what walking in the Spirit is, how can I be an effective witness for the Lord Jesus Christ? How can I not crack that joke? How can I not give into the world’s compromise? Simple! Do the works that the Scripture says to do (obedience to God’s Word)! If Christ be in you, then as you grow in grace, He will work out Himself in you. One thing that the Christian must understand is that the only way you can show forth righteousness is if Christ Jesus is within you. If you possess the Spirit of God, then you will live His way. The Scriptures speak on this:

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:30)

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13)

Without the Lord Jesus Christ, you will not perform these things to produce the fruit of the Spirit. I know you struggle and what I am attempting to point you to is not what you can do, but what the Lord Jesus Christ can do within you. The Scripture says:

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

So why do you believe you can’t when Jesus Christ can. James makes it very clear that if you have the Lord Jesus Christ in you, then the works will show.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:20-26)

We hear these scriptures many times, let’s believe them and they will be applied to our lives. You believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, He will do the work. He will keep you from cracking the joke. You sin, yes, but as God Almighty chastens you, He will sustain you. They way you apply the living is to believe in Christ living in you.

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:28-29)

Did you hear what Jesus Christ said? Okay maybe this will be of more help. This is a scripture used by many but we must believe this Proverb:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The first word is what? Trust? Trust, which in the Hebrew (batach) means to have confidence, be confident, is what we should do in the Lord. Now look at what the Lord will do. Yes, He will direct your path. He will do the work. A commonly used scripture describes how we can apply living for Jesus in our lives. See, the unregenerate man has no Spirit of God in him, so what is going to work in him? But you have the Spirit of Christ, Christian, so why don’t you trust Him to work in you? It’s hard? I’m struggling? Do you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ? You want to live for Jesus Christ, and conduct your life after Him. Believe, and it shall be done!

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